Skip to main content

Not by cattle class! Why should an MP suffer for demanding to fly Business Class on an All-Economy flight?

By Anand Mazgaokar*
The biggest crisis of the year 2017 -- something that caused turmoil in Parliament, Government, ruling alliance -- has been "resolved". The astuteness, accommodativeness, ability to find ‘middle ground’, of our politicians has "saved" the day.
The question is did a Member of Parliament really thrash an airline employee? Did he only brag about it? Did he both, thrash & brag? A Commission of Inquiry should be set up. Of course, when an elected ‘People’s Representative’ thrashes a commoner 25 times with his slippers, it should not be automatically assumed that the violent MP is the offending party!
May be, after 2014 a 56 inch chest is no single individual’s monopoly. Others have also started going around with inflated chests. The only people who don’t have 56 inch chests are hapless party spokespersons who, on TV, have to both, condemn goon-like behaviour and at the same time not disturb the ruling alliance applecart.
The cardinal rule to be safe while committing crime in India is to do it as part of a mob, or be assured of political patronage. Ideally both. Ask all rioters. Ask Gau rakshaks. His crime was doing it all alone and while someone’s camera was on. Therefore, the most important question here is why did the MP land in this soup? Was it inexperience? Was it overconfidence? Or, was it knowledge that he and his party would be able to bargain their way out of this?
The MP must have had a very stressful time. His party dithered. It was in two minds. They almost pulled him up for his behaviour. But that would have been so out of character. They soon realised that and found their feet and voice in Parliament and came out with all guns blazing. Everyone who knows them and their track record must have heaved sigh of relief.
The poor MP has already undergone untold hardship and punishment without trial. He was barred from flying by all airlines, he’s had to make train journeys multiple times, cartoonists are having a field day, some even showed him flying on slippers. He’s even had to charter a plane to go to Delhi.
There doesn’t seem to be a Patanjali Airline which would have been a law unto itself and given the MP his due. Unfortunately, the Patanjali folks only manufacture toothpaste, biscuits, shampoo, soaps etc., thus far. 
As far as one can tell they haven’t diversified into aircraft manufacture, airline running or managing airports. In the absence of competition from Patanjali the other airlines have all ganged up against a People’s representative licenced by elections to wanton behaviour.
MPs having to fly cattle class is such a travesty. And, by the way, it wasn’t the offending MP who invented the cattle class, it was actually established by a certain Shashi Tharoor. No other human being on earth should suffer such ignominy for just demanding his right to fly Business Class on an all Economy flight!
MPs truly have, and must have special privileges. There’s no way they can be treated as common citizens. If rioters are not acted against, if mob-violence is legit, if ‘gau rakshaks’ go scot free in spite of what they do, if Dalit-atrocities are okay how on earth can an MP be targeted ?
The poor MP and his party’s plight didn’t end there. They had to drag Mr Mohan Bhagwat in and float the balloon of supporting him as President. Mr. Bhagwat, as the President of India because an Air India employee was beaten with slippers! That one would be for the annals of politics! In any case sensible, rational people do not make sense in this day and age.
But, the MP and his party need not have stressed themselves so much. A deal with the senior partner was inevitable. They’re so intertwined. They need each other in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. They cannot do without each other in Maharashtra Assembly. Not in Delhi either. The senior partner needs them for Presidential elections. Sharing a genetic code and long marriage does bestow advantages.
If they were still not assured of a deal Mr Donald Trump was at hand. He offered his good offices to mediate between India & Pakistan. The Govt could have struck a package deal with Mr Trump and got him to mediate between the alliance partners too.
Anyone who fears that change will come about, that there is danger of Indian polity being civilised and rule of law being applied at all times and in all cases must rest assured that the Government and if need be, the Speaker will intervene and restore status quo. Amen.

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

Madhya Pradesh tops India's 145 instances of 'anti-Christian atrocities' this year

Counterview Desk  A report prepared by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), founded in 1951 as the national alliance of evangelical Christians of the Protestant denomination, in its just-released report, “Hate and Targeted Violence against Christians in India: Half Yearly Report 2021”, has said that an analysis of 145 cases of violence it has documented against Christians, mainly by non-state actors, “stems from an environment of targeted hate.”

Demolition drive: Why aren't high-end hotels, farmhouses treated same way as Khorigaon?

By Our Representative A public hearing, sponsored by the civil rights group National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) to hear the affected citizens of Khorigaon, off Faridabad, Delhi NCR, has seen local people complaining how their houses are being demolished even as the entire area was converted into a prison through heavy police deployment.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How BSF, police, court turned Bangladeshi woman slave victim into accused in crime

Counterview Desk  Civil rights leader Kirity Roy has strongly objected to the manner in which the Border Security Force (BSF) , the police and the judiciary in West Bengal have treated a 35 years old Bangladeshi woman victim of human trafficking, who was subjected to sexual exploitation for 15 long years, has been declared guilty of violating the Foreigners Act, violating all human rights norms.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people. 

Covid impact on menstrual cycles? Young girls 'relapsing' back to unhygienic old-cloth rags

By Dr Sudeshna Roy*  Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the world in health and economic shock. Combating this public health crisis has diverted development resources earmarked for adolescents and the youth. India; having world’s second largest population; 1.38 crores as per UN mid-year 2020 estimation, also shelters the largest adolescents and young adult population, which at 243 million constitute 20% of the world’s 1.2 billion adolescent population.

Project launched to fight high malnutrition in Odisha's backward Malkangiri district

By Our Representative Odisha civil rights groups have launched a new project, which will cover 8,000 households under of Podia block in Odisha’s Malkangiri district in order to provide essential preventive medicine to the community through the trained village-based Swasthya Sathis (health workers) and fight malnutrition in the district’s rural areas.